Besides cooking, the humble lemon has a wealth of uses around the home. But what if you don’t have one to hand or just can’t get hold of fresh lemons? Never fear because bottled lemon juice has just about as many uses for cleaning as fresh lemons, and with several advantages to boot.
If you are wondering can you use bottled lemon juice for cleaning instead of fresh, the answer is yes of course. Bottled lemon juice has many uses around the home. Mix it with vinegar to create a powerful and natural degreaser to clean your bathroom and kitchen. Use it as a natural weed killer or ant killer, and as a natural stain remover for your laundry.
Depending on where you buy it, a bottle of lemon juice can be cheaper than buying the whole fruit, plus the juice tends to last longer than a fresh lemon would. I have a ton more tips on saving money cleaning your house in this post – Frugal Cleaning Tips – The Healthy Way To Clean Your Home.
Do you have a bottle of lemon juice that has passed its use-by date? It might not be suitable for cooking, but it makes the perfect cleaning liquid.
If you have a lime to spare instead, you can use that equally well for cleaning, here’s how to clean your microwave with a lime.
Did you know you can freeze fresh lemons too? If you have bought some lemons in bulk cheaply freeze them whole or juice them first.
What makes bottled lemon juice great for cleaning?
The juice of a lemon contains about 5-8% citric acid. This makes it naturally antibacterial and anti-greasing. The cleansing properties of lemon juice are comparable to that of vinegar which has a similar acid content. In fact, you could use both vinegar and lemon juice together to produce a great smelling and effective cleaner (the smell of vinegar on its own can be a bit overpowering).
As for vinegar, don’t rely on lemon juice to remove all kinds of germs. If you need a surface to be medically safe use a bleach-based cleaner instead.
What can you clean with a bottle of lemon juice?
You can use the flesh of a whole lemon for scrubbing things clean but if you don’t have a whole lemon to hand, bottled lemon juice can work just as well.
Let’s take a look at the best uses for bottled lemon juice. There are some tips here I bet you didn’t know about!
Cleaning your showerhead with lemon juice
Lemon juice is naturally acidic which means it is perfect for dissolving mineral deposits on things like showerheads and faucets.
To clean your showerhead:
- Remove the showerhead
- Spray on some lemon juice directly onto the showerhead
- Add some lemon juice to a small bucket and soak the head for a minimum of 30 minutes
- Rinse the showerhead with water
To clean a faucet (we call them taps here in the UK):
- Make up a spray bottle of lemon juice and water
- Spray directly onto the faucet/taps.
- Leave to work
- Rinse with clean water
For more cleaning power add vinegar to the spray bottle.
How to use lemon juice as a natural weed killer
Did you know that lemon juice makes a fantastic natural and non-toxic weed killer? What is great about lemon juice is that no harm can be done to wildlife or pets.
The acid in lemon juice kills weeds by attacking the waxy coating on its leaves. This causes the weed to dry out and die.
Here is a recipe for a natural weed killer made from lemon juice and vinegar from successfulhomegardening.com
You will need:
- Lemon juice
- White Vinegar
- Spray bottle or watering can
Mix four ounces (113 ml) of lemon juice with a quart (roughly 1 litre) of vinegar.
Spray or pour the liquid over your weeds and they will be killed off in days. Be careful not to spray on or near plants you want to keep.
How to use lemon juice as a natural ant killer
You can kill or humanely deter ants with lemon juice. I love this solution because I hate to use chemical-based ant killers due to the risks posed for children, animals and wildlife.
To kill or deter ants, make up a spray bottle of equal parts lemon juice and water. Spray it directly on the ants to kill them. If you want to deter them from coming into your house simply spray across their trail.
Use lemon juice and vinegar as a natural degreaser
When you pair lemon juice and vinegar you have a natural degreaser on your hands as well as a natural antibacterial agent.
Vinegar on its own makes for a great natural cleaner, but if you don’t like the smell add some bottled or fresh lemon juice for added cleaning powers coupled with a fresher smell.
Make up a spray bottle of vinegar, fresh or bottled lemon juice and water. Spray on kitchen worktops, sinks, shower walls, inside refrigerators, or anywhere that you will ordinarily use a regular household cleaner.
Prevent mold and soap scum build up in your shower with lemon juice
I hate using sprays in the shower. There is so little ventilation in such a small area, it’s hard not to breathe in the cleaning chemicals. Swap out your usual shower spray for lemon juice and that issue goes away.
Keep on top of everyday soap scum and mold, plus make cleaning days easier by spraying inside your shower and shower door after every use with a solution of lemon juice, water and vinegar.
Keep your toilet bowl fresh with lemon juice
To keep your toilet bowl looking and smelling clean and fresh add a 1/2 cup of lemon juice to the toilet bowl and then swish around with a toilet brush.
Clean the microwave with just lemon juice
This is probably my favourite use for lemon juice because this trick makes it so easy to clean a microwave. You only need to wipe it, no scrubbing is necessary!
- Add a few squirts of lemon juice to a bowl of water
- Microwave on high it for a minute or so.
- The lemony steam will lift off any baked-on food which can be wiped off effortlessly with a cloth.
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Use bottled lemon juice to descale your kettle
Lemon juice is a natural descaler due to its citric acid content. I hate to use chemical descalers especially in things like kettles because I always wonder if the chemicals linger on afterwards.
- Pour some lemon juice into the kettle
- Let it sit for at least one hour
- Add water and then boil the kettle
- Rinse with water
Use lemon juice to clean copper-bottom pots and pans
According to worldofpans.com lemon juice and salt make a great team for cleaning copper-bottom pots and pans. They suggest cutting a lemon in two, applying salt and then rubbing the bottom of the pan. If you use bottled lemon juice simply squeeze some juice onto a scouring pad and sprinkle some salt and you should get the same result.
Use lemon juice as a natural laundry stain remover
Lemon juice makes for a natural stain remover. Mix one part lemon juice and two parts water and gently rub into a stain. When the stain fades add to your wash as normal.
You can also add a cup of lemon juice to your washer along with your normal detergent. This is a great option if you are using homemade washing detergent that usually does not have much of a fragrance. Your laundry will come out smelling lovely.
Freshen your home with the aroma of lemons
Who wouldn’t want their home to smell of lemons? Add a couple of squirts of bottled lemon juice to your home humidifier and have the scent of lemons wafting through your house.
Clean your shoes with lemon juice
Who would have thought that lemon juice could clean shoe leather? Squeeze some lemon juice onto the leather and rub it in with a cloth to bring out the shine.
Freshen your dishwasher with lemon juice
I love to freshen up my dishwasher with lemon juice. This is especially useful for the summer months when our dishwasher tends to smell a bit too much!
Add a cup of lemon juice to your dishwasher and then run a rinse cycle. You could add some vinegar too for extra cleansing power.
Clean your oven with lemon juice
Bake a tray of lemon juice in your oven. The lemony steam will soften burned on food making it much easier to clean off. Plus your oven will smell gorgeous too!
Wash the windows with a solution of lemon juice and water
If you love clean windows but hate regular window cleaner, swap it out for a solution of lemon juice and water. Spray it onto the window and then wipe it away with a microfiber cloth.
Make your hair soft and silky with lemon juice
Give your hair a lift and remove shampoo build-up by rinsing your hair with diluted lemon juice. Your hair will be softer and shinier.
Use lemon juice for beautiful skin
If you love to make your own facial scrubs don’t forget the lemon juice. Add it to some sugar and gently massage it in for cleaner and softer skin.
Two critical things not do to with lemon juice
1. Don’t mix lemon juice with bleach
As for vinegar, don’t mix lemon juice with bleach because this will result in toxic vapours that should never be breathed in.
2. Do not use lemon juice on natural surfaces
Like vinegar, lemon juice is acidic. Don’t use it on natural surfaces such as marble countertops or limestone tiles because it can permanently damage the surface.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, bottled lemon juice can be used in place of fresh lemon juice for any cleaning task around the home or garden.
Bottled lemon juice is not quite the same as fresh lemon juice because it has usually been treated with preservatives. Check the ingredients for more details on what your particular bottle of lemon juice contains. If you are concerned about additives consider buying some lemons in bulk and freezing the juice instead.
You probably don’t want to eat expired lemon juice but you can certainly clean with it. Avoid throwing it out and put expired bottled lemon juice to use in your home instead.